Our Twinkling Lights Blog Giveaway with Vintaj & Bead Inspirations!

How did you light a spark in your business this year? To participate in our Twinkling Lights Blog Giveaway, tell us how you bumped up sales in your jewelry design, art bead or bead sales. Did you use Pinterest, an app on Facebook, maybe new print materials? Did you read a good book with great business information? We’re hoping we all learn something new and can take 2013 by storm!

The winner receives this beautiful collection of Vintaj Natural Brass and crystals & faceted glass beads from Bead Inspirations. The contest is open from today December 11 until Thursday December 13 at midnight CT. The winner will be announced Friday December 14.

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25 Responses to Our Twinkling Lights Blog Giveaway with Vintaj & Bead Inspirations!

  1. I did my first ever art show/sale this year at my local university. I decided to donate 10% of all sales for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts to the American Red Cross and the Humane Society of the United States. It felt like the right thing to do and patrons really appreciated that their purchase also made a difference.
    I also tried out the Paypal Here card swiper with my iPad so I could take credit cards on the fly. Other vendors wanted to know what I was using and how I had so much “traffic”. I had a successful first show and I plan to do it again!

  2. Sarajo Wentling says:

    My business is still really in its infancy but I made two big strides this year. 1) I attended the Vintaj two day workshop and learned tonse of new techinques and gained confidence in working with many of the Vintaj products, especially the patinas. 2) I held my first open house sale for the holidays earlier this month and it was a huge success. Even though I kept it pretty small (friends, family, coworkers, etc), I sold almost all of my stock and got a good feel for what people are responding favorably to.

    At this point I’m doing a lot of my advertising through Facebook. Next year I hope to develop a real online presence and do a few more shows and open houses. While I doubt that jewelry making will be my main job any time soon, I do hope to get more serious this coming year and see where things lead me. I’m excited for 2013!

  3. Leilani says:

    I’ve decided to surround myself with supportive people that push me to keep at it. This was the first year that I sold my jewelry to others (other than friends anyway). A friend of mine that knits, had a holiday artisans show, and invited some of her crafty friend to sell their wares at her home in an open house/party event. It went very well, I sold out of most of my stock, it was very encouraging and supportive!

  4. Kathy says:

    I have been more successful this year (my 6th year in the business) than any other due to the fact that I began setting goals for myself. I sold more designs, got published for the first time in several magazines, and just enjoyed more confidence as a designer.

    Thanks for a great giveaway opportunity! Merry Christmas!

  5. Sarah S. says:

    This year I made an effort to wear my jewelry. I have also made an effort to learn new techniques and to expand on my available inventory.

  6. My business has really grown this year. I have been pushing myself and setting goals above my previous sights. New venues have opened up so the need to be more productive has been my main focus. Pinterest and the Vintaj site are my sources of inspiration, I make at least one thing I have pined a week. In the new year I am going to be submitting ideas to magazines for more exposure. Keeping things fresh and new in your designs is the best way I have found to be successful and keep you customers returning for more.

  7. JustATish says:

    After taking over a year off due to time constraints, I jumped in with both feet again. I started to really get more involved with facebook, posting and replying to posts, and getting to know people. It seems to have really helped to get my name back out there again. what i have found out to be the most true, is to be consistent. Thanks for the interest in my business and my opinion and for the chance to win!

  8. I’ve done SO much this year it is hard to believe. I had my first design published in Feb 2012, then proceeded to have 8 more things published, including the December cover, great way to finish off the year. On top of that, I changed my business name, got a new website and domain, changed my business cards, have jewelry in new shops, started using pinterest, and became an artisan group member and just sent jewelry to the stylist of True Blood AND have pieces going to the Oscars!! I honestly don’t know what else I could be doing to put myself out there at this point. My goals for 2013 will be to add a new publication and to focus on building my local clients and shop locations…if anything else comes out of all the big stuff I’m doing, it will just be icing on the cake!

  9. Amy Zaremba says:

    I started a Facebook page, opened an Etsy shop, and also wear my jewelry all the time. I get lots of interest just from people commenting on the pieces I wear. I love when people say “make me one exactly like that, I love it!”

  10. Linda O'Leary says:

    I got out there and really started selling, every single day. I went to bazaars. I even had my earring holder as my face book picture for a short time, but, the most important thing is I lowered my prices a little, added more beads to pieces, started to put bead caps on beads, and gave profits to the local spay and neuter clinic.

  11. Diana Kolowski says:

    This has been a year of learning for me. I did several local sales throughout the year including the Riverfront Market in Peoria, Illinois. I also do open houses in our home a few times a year. This year for the Holiday’s I did it the first two weekends of December and the results were fantastic! I attended the two day workshop in Galena in September and as a result of that I am teaching at 4 different places in our area. I never go out of the house without wearing jewelry that I have created. I rarely make anything without using Vintaj products. For the coming year my goals are to: 1. send something in to a magazine 2. update my phone to take credit/debit cards 3. attend the two day workshop in Galena in the fall.

  12. Elizabeth K says:

    I re-watched the fabulous movie the Titanic and was smitten with the vintage style jewelry worn. Researched the components to re-create this style and found most were similar to available Vintaj items. Since I started to make earrings and now necklaces, I have been swamped with request to make these for sale among my friends, family and even in the supermarket where I shop and wear them. It’s been a phenomenal experience and has given me the incentive to develop it further in 2013 with an on line site. Am in the process of drawing up a plan of the items that are most popular as well as learning how to photograph them to showcase it with pizzazz! thank you Vintaj for a fabulous line of items..

  13. Sue says:

    I connected with an independent sales representative who contacted small boutiques about wholesale purchases of my jewelry designs at a minimum $300 per order. I prepared a kit of 50 pieces of jewelry and an order form, had professional photos taken of the items in the kit for my etsy site and to create a color brochure. I pinned the jewelry to pinterest, and have joined The Artisan Group, who gift their craft to celebrities and the press. My goal for 2013 is to apply to participate in more juried art shows.

  14. Joanna-Gloria says:

    I do not sell online yet so I’m actually very interested to see what the other ladies will say
    But I got to see first hand what a great thing a jewellery tea party can be, when you organize a gathering to show off your work.
    It was my first and I was pretty nervous but went soooo well!!

  15. DESPINA says:

    I am about to open my first online shop just after New Year’s, I can use any advice or information I can get…
    I am thinking of a big Facebook launching, probably with a giveaway event.
    I will also keep a Pinterest account although I think Facebook is the most helpful of all, based on other jewellery maker friends’ advice.
    When I sell in person, I always wear most impressive pieces and a big smile, I always encourage ladies to try on as much as they like and give a little gift to my good customers.
    I adore this prize!!
    The brilliant colors go so well with Vintaj!!

  16. valarie says:

    I read a book called Pinterest Power from Amazon. It’s got a lot of easy ways to use Pinterest to boost your sales, or interest in your non-profit. I would recommend it!

  17. emily moore says:

    This is the first year I actually started selling my jewelry. I learned how to make jewelry when I began working at a local bead shop in 2007; however, with working full-time and going to school full-time, I was not able to sit down and make a whole lot. Now, my life has somewhat calmed down – I only go to school part-time now – I am able to make more, and I love it! It relaxes me. Anyways, a friend asked me to do a really big show with her, and I was very unsure about it, because I really didn’t have much of an inventory, and when school is in, I don’t get to make as much as during breaks and summer. But, I said what the heck! I agreed, created business cards, bought jewelry displays, gift boxes, etc. Before this show even came up, I found myself signed up for several other shows! I said if I’m going to do this, I’m going to go big! All of my shows were successful, and I got a lot of really great and genuine comments about my jewelry, which just makes you feel good! So, now that the shows are over, and I’m done with my classes this semester, I have decided to open an Etsy shop! It’s in the making as we speak! And, my goals are to get this shop up and running before the end of the year, and next year to really get my name out there by keeping up with my shop, doing more shows, and trying to find consignment in local artsy shops! I’m so excited to see what will come of all this work, because it’s definitely not easy, but I think it will be well worth the effort! Good luck to everyone else who is unsure about jumping it! It’s really not that bad, and you will actually be surprised of how good you will do!

  18. Karen Bucci says:

    I have done a lot this year, despite being ill for most of the year with Lyme Disease. I became “official” by obtaining my business license. I really added a lot to my esty site and have had small success with online sales. I also obtained a credit card swipper for my iphone so I can accept credit cards. I entered several Vintaj contests and actually won one! I didn’t get around to hosting an open house, as I did last year and was successful at it. However, I do have some ambitious goals for 2013: Get my jewelry into some local shops (I almost made that happen this year), get a piece published in 2013, and of course continue to grow my etsy site and on facebook. I love what I do especially because Vintaj is such a great quality product! Oh and I would dearly love to attend a Vintaj workshop, but might have to wait on that one!

  19. Sara Windsor says:

    I made a decision this year to try to grow my business. Most of my jewelry sales are made at area art and craft shows. While I do love selling this way…getting to meet and get to know customers…I’ve been wanting to expand my exposure outside my local area. Here are the steps I’ve taken:
    1. Participating in Pinterest…not only do I have a board for my own jewelry and art creations but I have boards for Jewelry Inspiration and Admiration, and other creative boards as well as more personal boards. I have 143 followers on my Creative Soul Jewelry & Art board and more than 600 on my other Jewelry board. Lots of exposure.
    2. I created a Facebook biz page. While I don’t have a lot of followers yet this step led to having my jewelry being sold in a local trendy shop! Great step!
    3. Decided to take the plunge and create a blog on WordPress. This has required a lot of time but I am enjoying it. Again, not a lot of followers yet, but I think this one especially takes a lot of time…not only posting, but also visiting other people’s blogs, commenting on them etc.
    4. Created new business cards through Vista Print…so cost effective! While my old cards suited my personality then didn’t really match my product. My new ones definitely do! And I created rack cards to promote in-home jewelry parties…something else new for me. My first party is booked for after the holidays. I’ve also used Vista Print for a banner for art/craft shows, return address labels that I had printed with a thank you note and my website info to use when mailing out sold products.
    5. Started a regular mailing list. For a couple of years now I have had a little book with me at art and craft shows where people could leave their info to receive (infrequent) emails about upcoming events, etc. I finally got on this by going to Mail Chimp and creating professional newsletters and sending them regularly. Mail Chimp is free and it makes it so very easy! My list is growing by continuing to gather sign-ups at shows, but also from the listings in my etsy shop and from my blog, etc. I share what I’m working on, where I’ll be for shows and sometimes money saving offers.
    6. Started using etsy search ads just recently. I’ve just been doing this a couple of weeks, but already have a sale from the ads. I use the lowest cost option and promote my best jewelry offerings.
    p.s. I love Vintaj since my one of a kind jewelry is created using a combination of antique, vintage and a few modern day supplies. The Vintaj goes so well with the old items!

  20. Ellen says:

    I did my first show, which taught me a lot! Don’t do only jewelry shows. It’s too much competition and very few people buy.

  21. I use Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter to increse business traffic. Entering your contest got more exploration of my jewelry, resulting in sales. I find individual contact makes an important impact. Offering customization has helped and making sure that the product is unique to the local market. Standing behind the quality of your work is always very important. Giving customers more shipping options has also increased sales.

  22. I haven’t grown my business by leaps and bounds, but by slow and steady progress. I have focused on making pieces I like, not pieces I think will sell. I also strive to stay regular – to list new pieces regularly, blog once or twice a week and post on social sites pretty much daily.

  23. Robin says:

    Let me give credit to Cathie Roberts – (see her comment above) of Magikal Glassworks. Her wonderful glass lentil beads have stimulated my creative impulses to make some new designs that have been successful for me. I’ve tried new things – like embossed designs, and patinas. Most of all, I’ve just put in a lot of hard work, trying new shows, seems like every weekend. I haven’t tried Etsy yet but maybe in 2013 I’ll make it happen.

  24. Katie N-N says:

    I offered my coworkers the opportunity to buy custom bracelets as Mother’s Day gifts — in their choice of colors. I had two styles, several color choices, and personalized them further with charm or bead dangles at the clasp. I sold enough to finance a mission trip this summer with my church!

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Pinterest is an awesome tool for increasing traffic! Positive customer feedback in wonderful for boosting custom orders. Happy repeat customers make shows profitable and fun!

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